On Sunday, the board of the Sarasota County Democratic Party Hispanic Caucus published a letter in The Herald Tribune demanding that Sarasota City Commission candidate Martin Hyde quit his run.
“It is unacceptable for a candidate for the Sarasota City Commission to show such insensitivity and such a level of racism,” the letter reads. “Mr. Hyde’s behavior, unbecoming to any person, is particularly inappropriate for anyone intending to pursue a position as a city commissioner. We therefore request that he withdraw his candidacy, and call upon all members of our constituency to support our request.”
Hyde, who is a Republican, responded via Facebook stating “THAT’S A BIG NO!” in a meme image.
In late November, Hyde got caught on video berating a teen Puerto Rican tennis player at a private Florida club for speaking Spanish. This led to Hyde’s permanent removal from the club. Eventually, he apologized, saying, “If I got enough balls to tell people off and to be aggressive towards them, I have to face the reality that my behavior was wrong. It was racially insensitive. It was inappropriate.” At that time, Hyde said the he would not run for Sarasota City Commission, but since then he’s changed his mind.